Case study: Electric van trial for businesses

We want businesses in Kent to switch to electric business vehicles and reduce their carbon footprint.

To help business owners and fleet managers understand the benefits of going green, we launched a 'try before you buy' program called Kent Revs.

The problem we faced

Despite how widespread they are, electric vehicles (EVs) are still seen by many people as an emerging technology.

Business owners and fleet managers purchasing vehicles for their organisations can lack confidence in the reliability of EVs, or their affordability. Fossil-fuel powered vans can then be seen as a safer investment.

We want to challenge these perceptions and help businesses confidently switch to electric vehicles.

What we did

We applied for £1.5 million of funding from Highways England. With the money we purchased a fleet of 48 electric vehicles of differing size and function.

We let businesses in Kent borrow and these vehicles for up to 8 weeks, completely free.

Our aim is to help businesses see how easy it is to run an EV, save money, and reduce their carbon footprint.

Results

Since 2020 over 270 different organisations have borrowed an EV from us for their business.

58%

of businesses that trialled an electric van, told us they were likely to now purchase their own.

Over the length of the programme, over 250,000 miles have been recorded in our 48 vehicles, which has saved over 88 tonnes of CO2 compared with similar sized fossil fueled vehicles.

Businesses loved the programme for the confidence it gave them, not to mention the cost savings they enjoyed. One business reported their fuel bill had halved during their trial!

At the end of the trial, our vans will be made part of our own fleet.

[The van was] nice and convenient from start to finish; minimal admin required... There was some concern around charging points to begin with, however that has now changed since having the vehicle, having learnt that journey planning is needed. All positive, no negative. “

Kent Revs trial participant

How to get involved

If you have any questions about our case study, or have any ideas for future trials we could run, then please get in touch using kes@kent.gov.uk.